Google has announced that it is re-adopting its Glass division — a longtime staple of Alphabet's moonshot incubator, X — and releasing the first major upgrade to its AR smart glasses product for enterprise customers. With the Glass Enterprise Edition 2 comes beefier components and potentially wider deployment opportunities.
The spectacles feature a thick frame made by Smith Optics that is dust- and water-resistant to store Glass's technical components. These specs include the quad-core, 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform — which was notated as a Snapdragon 710 chipset when the product went through regulatory inspection — with 3GB of RAM, a 640x360 inset display, an 8MP first-person-view camera, three beam-forming microphones, a USB-C port, and a larger 820mAh battery with support for fast charging.
This version of Glass uses Android Oreo for software and supports Android Enterprise Mobile Device Management, meaning that a whole fleet of devices can be easily deployed and standardized with the apps and APIs needed for particular tasks.
Google is pricing this version of Glass at $999, though actual quotes will be for packages that include specifically-tailored software — for comparison, Microsoft's heavy-duty AR headset, HoloLens, is priced at $3,500. Each have their own use cases, but it'll be interesting to see if Glass will achieve volume with its form factor and integration capabilities with enterprise employees and their customers.